Recorder’s Court canceled until electrical outages at Muscogee County Jail are fixed

Power has been restored to the Muscogee County Jail and adjoining Recorder’s Court after an outage caused cancellation of all court hearings on Tuesday.

City Public Works Director Pat Biegler said power was restored around 3 p.m. Tuesday and that of the 27 air conditioning units at the jail and courtrooms, about half are currently functioning. The elevators, which were also affected by the outage, are now up and running.

Recorder’s Court hearings may still be affected Wednesday. Cases are expected to continue at 8 a.m., Judge Julius Hunter said, but he asks citizens call Recorder’s Court at 706-653-4256 to confirm before heading to court.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley said that one leg of the three-phase electrical power serving the jail burnt out on Monday, shutting down air conditioning, elevators, lights and other electric-powered services in the jail and Recorder’s Court.

Crews began working on repairs to the electrical system Tuesday morning, Hugley said at a Columbus Council meeting. The estimated repair time was eight to 10 hours.

Mayor Skip Henderson said Tuesday the electrical issues were not due to negligence by staff.

At the jail, dorms in the South Tower are currently being renovated and rotted shower floors are being replaced. The work is the latest update in recent months, including the replacement of a backup generator that cost $800,000.

Constant maintenance is needed at the jail’s North and South Towers, which were built in 1984 and 2002 respectively.

Allie Dean is the Columbus city government and accountability reporter for the Ledger-Enquirer, and also writes about new restaurants, developments and issues important to readers in the Chattahoochee Valley. She’s a graduate of the University of Georgia.